One of the greatest things about living in Sydney has to be getting out and enjoying our long and ever-evolving list of epic restaurants. With kids in tow, however, you might be hesitant to go ahead and make that reservation. While there are some swanky spots you might like to save for your next date night (the restaurants on this list, for example), Sydney does have a neat collection of kid-friendly eateries that will be as enjoyable for the fam as it will be for you.
Far away from the Maccas playground and the kid's menu at the pub, these restaurants bring maximum family vibes, while keeping it cool for mums and dads too. Think tiki cocktails and kids-size fish and chips, margaritas by the beach with ample space for playing, and some of Sydney's best sushi served in mini bento boxes and gelato for dessert. Keep scrolling for Sydney's best kid-friendly restaurants.
Up at sparkly Palm Beach, Dunes is directly opposite the beach and playground with plenty of space and sunshine for weekend vibes. It's a far cry from the sticky parkside family-friendly cafes you might have come across before now—a recent renovation by Sydney-based interior designer Olivia Bossy has given Dunes a seriously stylish edge. Think chic beachside villa with warm white lounges that spill outdoors and into the ocean air. For kids, the kiosk area is a great spot to run and play while mum and dad do Appellation oysters, saltbush calamari, blue swimmer crab linguini, and a margarita or two. Prefer to hang on the sand? Dunes also do takeaway.
Crown Sydney's lineup of fancy eateries might not be your first thought for a kid-friendly experience, but Ross and Sunny Lusted's Woodcut has you covered. The restaurant champions Australian produce and celebrates unique cooking techniques like steam, wood and charcoal. Alongside incredible Darling Harbour views and an amazing menu, you can expect the sensory experience of theatre thanks to Woodcut’s four open kitchens and unique service with food straight from cast iron pans or clay pots. With the fam, make sure you book a table outside to enjoy the space and the views of the water. And if a bout of restlessness hits mid-meal—a stroll or scoot along the water ought to do the trick.
Also in sunny Barangaroo, Zushi has a killer kids' menu for little ones that love their sushi rolls. The kids' bento box is a major hit, packed out with edamame, salmon nigiri, avocado roll, chicken karaage, and shoestring fries. Meanwhile, mum and dad can fill up on some of Sydney's best sushi, sashimi, and tempura and dessert specials like matcha tiramisu and yuzu mandarin sorbet. For a different dessert option, hit up Rivareno for a little gelato.
From the Merivale family, The Colloray is an easy breezy eatery just seconds from the sand of Collaroy Beach. For Northern Beaches locals or families keen to make the trip up north for a weekend swim, The Collaroy offers ocean views, seafood, and pizza, all done in that effortless Merivale style. The upstairs restaurant is led by executive chef Jordan Toft (mimi's, Bert's), so you know the food will be top-tier. Kids will be well looked after with friendly pub classics like beer-battered fish and chips or cheeseburgers with fries, while mum and dad can order up oysters, burrata, sea bounty mussels, and steak frites. For tiki vibes, hop next door to The Surf Deck for pizzas and banana daiquiris.
St George Sailing Club
The St George Sailing Club has held its prime view of the sparkly Georges River for well over a century. And now, thanks to a huge $15M renovation, it'll continue to be one of Sydney's favourite waterside spots for years to come. Under the guise of the team behind the Manly Skiff Club in the north, the sprawling St George Sailing Club has a revamped bistro, lounging spaces, and breezy open-air decks. The redesign is the work of architect Jon Jacka, who has created a crisp coastal aesthetic with warm timber accents and outdoor space for days. On the kids' menu is a classic schnitzel, spag bol, and fish and chips, while parents can tuck into salmon sashimi, marinated octopus salad, and a little Mediterranean influence with woodfired pizzas, prawn linguini, and osso buco rigatoni.
Coogee Pav is another Merivale entry on our list. The enormous seaside eatery is probably the most family-friendly spot in the Sydney hospitality behemoth's collection of venues and the ground floor is where it's at for a pre or post-beach feast. The huge kids' menu covers everything from ham and cheese toasties to burgers and kid-size pizzas. There's also a menu of fresh and fun kids' smoothies, with flavours like "Strawberry Orbit" and "Cheeky Chocolate" on the line-up. For parents, you'll find seaside faves like potato scallops and chilled tiger prawns, alongside more sophisticated picks like a bucatini pasta with prawn, cuttlefish, chilli, and garlic, and mussels with chilli garlic.
Three Blue Ducks
Three Blue Ducks is a superstar in the Sydney dining scene, and its influence has exploded over the last decade since a trio of surfy dudes from Bronte set up shop back in 2010. These days, The Ducks is a full-blown lifestyle, spread across the East Coast of Australia and centred squarely on a more sustainable approach to life and food. Over in Rosebery, the "ducklings" menu is a firm fave for wholesome, simple kids' feasting. For brekkie, there's a breakfast roll with bacon, egg and tomato sauce, while lunch and dinner includes pasta with tomato sugo and parmesan, or pumpkin hummus with crudités. Parents can sip pepper margaritas and sprits while filling up on porchetta wirh creamed pumpkin or XO pippies with gai lan and fried shallot.
The Grounds Of Alexandria
This ultra-popular sprawling Inner West oasis might be an obvious inclusion for our list—with its enchanting pop-up installations, enormous organic garden to stroll through, and pint-sized petting zoo—but The Grounds is a family favourite for a reason. On the kids' brekky menu are fluffy buttermilk pancakes, scrambled free-range eggs, house-made baked beans, and other wholesome, tasty plates. At lunchtime, there's a grass-fed cheeseburger, fresh egg pasta, organic beef bolognaise, and more. For Christmas, you better believe The Grounds has transformed into a festive wonderland, complete with family Santa photos.
Now, check out the best kid-friendly cafes in Sydney.
Image credit: Crown Sydney, Dunes, Crown Sydney, Zushi, Merivale, St George Sailing Club, Merivale, Three Blue Ducks, The Grounds